RIT bowlers heading to national championships

Underdog team could bring home RIT’s first national bowling title
Group photo of bowling team.

Kristen Gregory

Members of RIT’s Club Bowling Team at the start of their season. Members will travel to Dayton to compete in the national championships.

For the first time in five years, the RIT bowling team clinched a trip to the United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships. It is the ninth time the team has made the finals in its program history.

The team will travel to Dayton, Ohio for the championships, held on April 17 to 20. Eight members of the 23-member team will compete.

The Tigers were actually underdogs in the semifinals and are the lowest ranked team – at 33rd – of the 16 teams in the finals.

“A lot of people on the team are just happy to get the experience to go and try their hardest to bring home a championship for the first time,” said Matt Gregory ’12 (professional and technical communication), one of the team’s volunteer coaches. “RIT has never won a national title. Back in the ‘70s, we were runner-up. So it would definitely be a first if we won.”

Despite having the lowest ranking entering the nationals, the way the finals are set up, “anything can happen. But no matter what happens, this experience will be one of a lifetime,” said Laura Branch, the team president and a third-year biotechnology and molecular biosciences major from Fairport, N.Y.

“Going into this season, we knew we had the talent to make it to nationals,” Branch said. “It was just a matter of whether or not we would be able to keep a positive team dynamic and work as a cohesive unit. Making it to the next level left us all absolutely speechless, especially since midway through our season four of our top players were either injured or had other health issues.”

Other members competing in the championship include:

  • Ben Drogue, a second-year media arts and technology major from Keene, N.H.
  • Kyle Freberg, a second-year packaging science major from Oswego, N.Y.
  • Ben Hall, a fourth-year biotechnology and molecular biosciences major from Lindley, N.Y.
  • Keenan Nash, a first-year computing security major from Derry, N.H.
  • Nik Suter, a second-year management information systems and supply chain management double major from Spencerport, N.Y.
  • Adam Turner, a second-year applied statistics and actuarial science, and economics double major from Spencerport, N.Y.
  • Christopher Wollschleger, a first-year mechanical engineering technology major from Bloomfield, N.Y.

The club team receives some financial support from RIT to help pay for practices and entry fees, but members also rely on fundraising for equipment and travel expenses.

Last weekend, they competed in a tournament in Indiana. They’ll put in a few extra practices to get ready for Dayton, Gregory said.

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